Monday, August 20, 2018

A Sunday Afternoon in Fredrikstad

Outfit Details:
      Clogs     Yellow Crossbody Bag

As soon as I saw that sweater, I knew I had to have it immediately as I LOVE Connie Francis and she had a song called Lipstick On Your Collar that is just too cute for words. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone a little since I hardly ever wear mini skirts, so I went for this pink button cord mini skirt and it is SO flattering on. I can't recommend both of these pieces enough, and they're perfect transitioning into the fall! Just throw on some tights and ankle boots, and you're good to go!

One thing that hasn't changed since I moved to this small town in Sweden is that the need for exploring and going on small adventures is still a big part of me. Back when I lived in LA, I found myself driving up the 101 to the Madonna Inn, or east to Palm Springs for the day. I didn't think about it much beforehand, I would just go. It's not quite as easy to do here... gas is more expensive, and there isn't AS much variety of places to choose from if I want a quick getaway. I get bummed out sometimes when I think about the fact that things ARE different here, and that I simply don't have the money to travel very far, unless I save up for a reeeaally long time. So when I want to go somewhere, it's always kind of a battle of sorts. Originally, I had planned on shooting this look in a location that's over an hour away from where we live. We spotted it coming back from Stockholm earlier this summer and I had my mind set on using it for this exact look. But when it came down to it, it was simply too far and not worth the drive, and I am SO glad that I decided on my plan B.

I've been visiting the town of Fredrikstad in Norway since I first came to Sweden, and this was the first time when the weather was actually nice (it was snowing and very cold when I brought my mom here back in January= not fun). So Max and I took advantage and walked around for a while, shooting me in my new favorite fall outfit from Joanie Clothing in front of all the colorful buildings. To our surprise, all the stores were open and they were even having a flea market. Did you know that all stores in Norway are closed on Sundays, even grocery stores? Norwegians carry a mentality of relaxation one day a week, and I don't blame them for that one bit. 

I love that Fredrikstad is so well-preserved (it was discovered in 1567 by King Frederik II). You can still see where the motes used to be and every building has colorful doors and windows and you can just feel history oozing out of it with every cobblestoned step you take! Not to mention, Fredrikstad is known for having the biggest miniature train museum in all of Scandinavia which I had the chance to visit when I brought my mom there in January. It was AMAZING. See?

So much to love about a place that's just a short drive outside of town. As boring as this part of the world can feel sometimes, when it's warm outside, these towns really all come alive and all it really takes in the end is a fresh perspective! Is there one special place you like to travel to just to "get away" that you only started to appreciate recently? I'd love to know where!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Life lately

(Wearing the CUTEST summery strawberry sweater from one of my favorite brands, Collectif, and it's currently on SALE! Want to snag one for yourself? Click the direct link to the product HERE.)

Happy June! I can't believe that it's officially summer here, and that I've now been living in Sweden for half a year. Not much has changed since I arrived in January with my giant suitcase, except the weather has gotten TREMENDOUSLY better and I now have a job (yay), but my health has been in a weird place.

I recently visited the lady doctor to obtain new birth control (boo for Sweden not carrying the pill I love and have used happily for the past few years), and she took my blood pressure, which ended up being preeettyy high. We tried it again and it was even higher the second time. She assured me that maybe it was high because I was nervous to be in a doctors office, but I also think it could be a result of all of the stress I've been under for so long now. It's not even bad stress necessarily; some of it stems from a lot of really happy moments in my life: meeting Max, falling in love, visiting Sweden every few months in the beginning, obtaining my permit to live here, moving here, etc. It's a lot for one person to take in in a year.

I also have battled anxiety from the whole Instagram algorithm change. I don't like to admit it or talk about it often, but yes, like all of us, I have been very frustrated with my lack of engagement and lack of growth which has really slowed down in the past year compared to 2-3 years ago when I feel I was at my highest level of success. And up until recently, my anxiety would get to a point where I would cry if my post was "bombing" (aka not even getting up to 100 likes), and if I couldn't get a photo posted fast enough because life got in the way, my heart would be racing and I would be extremely anxious until the moment when it would finally go live. I thought because I wasn't getting a large amount of likes or followers, that must have meant that people didn't like ME or what I was doing or contributing, which sounds so ridiculous now. It's all pretty embarrassing to admit, really, because - Instagram is just an app. But it is what it is. I had a problem, and once I started working, I physically and mentally didn't have the energy or the time to put in as much time as before, and that actually resulted in a POSITIVE mental change within me. I'm working so much right now that it's actually hilarious - 10 and a half hours of work, on my feet, and starting this week, I will be working 7 days in a row. I'm so grateful for this big life change because it's caused me to step back from what I know was a real issue. It actually made me realize that it's OKAY to not be posting to my feed every day, and OKAY that I may lose some followers here and there. In the end, I know I have a very dedicated group of amazing people who love what I do (thank you thank you for that!), and that's all that matters.

I recently started taking one day a week off from posting to my feed, but it might become more frequent as things gets busier at work. But don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. I intend to continue to share even more fun and exciting stories and photos of my life here in Sweden. <3

If you've been battling anxiety, how have you been trying to combat it? I'd love to start a conversation on healthy tips and tricks that we can all share and use together!